the Blues finished the season winless for the first time in 26 years

After Quentin Fillon Maillet’s fourth place in Sunday’s mass start in Oslo, the French men’s biathlon team ends its season without a single victory in the individual events, the first since 1997.

Article written by


Reading time: 1 minute.

Quentin Fillon Maillet during the sprint of the Biathlon World Championships, February 11, 2023 in Oberhof (TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP)

We have to go back to the last century. The French men’s biathlon team had become the official supplier of victories, a guarantee of success in the winter of the tricolor sport. The mass departure in Oslo this Sunday 19 March will seal the last hopes for this financial year 2022-2023, the victory will go to the inevitable Johannes Boe in front of his crowd. Quentin Fillon Maillet held on, finishing fourth, after a second-place finish the day before in the chase. Insufficient, however, to avoid a shortage such as the Blues have not known for 26 years.

For the first time since the 1996-1997 season, no French biathlete will have won an individual race during this generally disappointing 2022-2023 financial year. Title holder in the all-around, ‘QFM’ will have struggled to digest his historic year between his crystal ball and his five Olympic medals in Beijing.

Retreat leader

Behind the leader of the Italian contingent, Emilien Jacquelin will have had a good start to the season, with three consecutive podiums in Kontiolahti, then Hochfilzen, before being more withdrawn, washed out. Fabien Claude has crossed a finish line in regularity, without however being able to enter the fight for the places of honor in the individual races for the moment. Eric Perrot puts his nose to the window with great promises (podium at his first mass start in Östersund, March 12), at just 21 years old. But no victory in sight.

Made with Flourish

The last 25 seasons have all been synonymous with laurels, thanks to leaders among the best biathletes in the world, and successive generations of excellence. Raphaël Poirée had led the way, winning at least one race each season between 1998 and 2007, with four crystal balls at stake in the overall standings. Martin Fourcade was quick to succeed him, from the 2009-2010 season.

Meanwhile, Vincent Defrasne won the individual globe in 2007-2008 with success, before Vincent Jay won the individual in Vancouver a year later. Almost again, and a time of skinnier cows, never so much as not to see a Habs raise his arms. Unlike this season. To the Blues to make 2023 an anomaly with no future.

Add a Comment